Berkley, Dec 2007, $7.99, 304 pp.
Lawrenceton, Georgia is a suburb of Atlanta but has a small town atmosphere in which everyone knows their neighbors and doors are rarely locked. One night librarian Aurora “Roe” Teagarden is going to Real Murders, a club where folks analyze true crime cases. When she arrives she looks in the parking lot for friends Mamie Wright and Sally Allison when the phone rings and the caller asks for Julia Wallace, the murdered wife of the man the group is supposed to talk about.
When she gets over the shock she sees Sally but not Mamie; feeling uneasy over the phone call she continues to seek out her friend until she finds her body butchered beyond recognition and posed to look like the real Julia Wallace was. She was supposedly murdered by her husband William Wallace. Other murders occur involving the members of Real Murders and they are patterned on past killings like that of Lizzie Border. In a macabre sort of way the killer is having fun but Roe is scared to death when poison is delivered to her and her brother Phillip disappears.
This is the reprint of the first Aurora Teagarden mystery and it affirms why this series is so popular and successful; the other books will follow every two months. REAL MURDERS is an exciting who-done-it because nobody will ever guess who committed the crimes because the murderer acts and looks so normal and interacts with people in a sane manner. Aurora Teagarden is a special one of a kind heroine who amateur sleuth fans adore.